Helen Stanton owns and runs three independent bookshops in the North East of England. She bought FORUM Books, a small independent bookshop in Corbridge, Northumberland in 2011 before moving to larger, listed premises. She has since opened two further stores: the bound in Whitley Bay and The Accidental Bookshop in Alnwick, as well as running a ‘permanent pop-up’ – The Book Room – at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. Brought up in Consett, Co Durham, she studied in London before beginning her bookselling career at Hatchards then Waterstones. She returned north – to study in Glasgow – before being pulled back to bookselling at the flagship Waterstones on Sauchiehall Street. From there she moved into publishing, taking up sales & marketing roles at Headline, Canongate and Birlinn/Polygon in Edinburgh. She has a semi regular book slot on BBC Radio Newcastle, is a columnist for Appetite Magazine and Corbridge Matters, and is one of a quartet of independent booksellers who formed the award-winning At Home with 4 Indies – hosting 250+ online events during lockdown(s).